Four books were awarded prestigious prizes at the 2012 Irene Levi-Sala Annual Research Seminar in March in Beer Sheva, Israel. BAR readers will recognize many of the authors as frequent contributors of articles and reviews. Two of the four prize books were published by the Israel Exploration Society, also a friend of BAR. The Irene Levi-Sala Book Prizes are given “to encourage and reward high-quality publications, both scholarly and popular, on the archaeology of Israel against the wider context of Near Eastern history and archaeology.”
Lawrence E. Stager, Daniel M. Master and J. David Schloen of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon won the prize for Ashkelon 3: The Seventh Century B.C. (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2011), in the category of final excavation report.
In the category of a substantial synthesis, the winner was Silvia Rozenberg, Hasmonean and Herodian Palaces at Jericho: Final Reports of the 1973–1987 Excavations, Vol. IV: The Decoration of Herod’s Third Palace at Jericho (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society and Institute of Archaeology, 2008).
Ronny Reich won the prize for popular nonfiction book for his work Excavating the City of David (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 2011).
For the handbook category, the prize went to Shmuel Ahituv for his book of Hebrew inscriptions, Echoes from the Past (Jerusalem: Carta, 2008).